Ruby's Christmas Oyster
Submitted by: C. Daigle
Bayou Blue - Lafourche Parish, LA - USA
An old Christmas tradition in ôRuby [my mother-in-law's]"
home is now a Christmas tradition in our home. This makes a huge pot
of gumbo and it does freeze very well, that is, if you have any
left. We start eating it on Christmas Eve night and it's usually all
gone the day after Christmas. "Mom"
told me that when she was a young child, around the holidays, the
seafood man would pass in a wagon pulled by a horse in the rural
community of Bayou Blue near Houma, LA. They would sometimes
purchase whatever he had to sell that day. Around Christmas, her
mother would get a gallon of oysters for the gumbo. "That was
when a gallon was really a gallon", she told me. She didn't
recall if her mother, "Granny" to us, came up with the
recipe or if it came from Granny's grandmother. Regardless of who
started the tradition it has been gratefully continued in our
family. Mom made this recipe especially for me since I had attempted
it a couple of times and my results fell
very short of her excellent gumbo.
1 cup oil
1 & 3/4 cup plain flour
2 or 3 large onions, chopped
1 & 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 green bell pepper, chopped
water or chicken broth
1 to 2 gallons oysters and juice
1 cup chopped green onion tops
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon gumbo filÚ
salt and pepper to taste
In at least a 12 quart pot make a roux of flour
and oil until the color of peanut butter, no darker. Add onion and
cook 15 to 20 minutes longer. Roux will darken more. Stir often. Add
celery and green pepper and cook 15 minutes. Add about 1 quart of
water or broth and stir to thicken gravy. Slow simmer,
covered, as long as it takes for seasonings to nearly disintegrate,
about 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note: Gravy will
decrease in volume. Drain oysters and hold the juice on the
side. Add oysters to pot and 'smother', covered, about 15 minutes.
Add oyster juice, water and/or broth to make gumbo consistency. (I
nearly fill the pot). Taste and add salt, pepper and hot sauce, if
desired. Heat the pot to simmering, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat; add green onion tops, parsley, and sprinkle filÚ
over the top. DO NOT STIR FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES.
over hot rice.
1. If you wash the oysters, save the
water and strain along with any oyster juice and use as part of the
liquid of the gumbo. I use an old clean stocking to
2. If you use the two gallons
of oysters, you should increase the other ingredients a little and
the size of the pot.
3. The gumbo will be a light color.
If you want to cheat, you can add Kitchen Bouquet to make it darker.
It does not affect the taste.
4. Stirring while the pot is too hot
with the filÚ added can make the gumbo have a slimy consistency.
Let the pot cool a little before stirring.
Number Of Servings: Depends on how cold it is
Preparation Time: 2 hours